Dr. G’s Secret for Stopping Colon Cancer
Q: My family has a history of colorectal cancer, and I know I’m at a higher risk. Is there anything I can do to reduce my chances of getting cancer, other than just routine screening?
Dr. G: It’s good that you’re asking this question now.
As you probably know, people who have a family history of colon cancer are much more likely to develop the cancer themselves. This is especially true if any of your immediate family members, like parents, siblings, or children, have had it.
The first thing I’ll tell anyone in this situation is to make sure you’re getting screened regularly, which it sounds like you’re doing. Colon screenings will detect growths called polyps, which can be removed before they turn cancerous.
But you didn’t ask about early detection, you asked about prevention. And there is one particular nutrient that has been found to be especially beneficial when it comes to preventing colon cancer.
It’s the mineral magnesium.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in your body, and is plays a part in everything from energy production to bone formation.
And it seems to have an especially potent protective effect against colon cancer.
Study after study – involving hundreds of thousands of people – has shown that people who have the highest intake of magnesium have the lowest risk of colorectal cancer.
One analysis evaluated over 60,000 women who had been involved in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, and followed them for about 15 years. This study showed that the women who had the highest intake of magnesium had a substantially lower risk of colorectal cancer compared to those who had the lowest intake.
The same results were found when researchers combed through the data of more than 140,000 women involved in the Women’s Health Initiative.
And in the Tennessee Colorectal Polyp Study, researchers evaluated over 2,000 men and women and found, once again, that the those who had the highest magnesium intake had the lowest risk of colorectal cancer.
More specifically, a study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that for every 100-mg increase in magnesium intake, the risk of colon cancer dropped by 12 percent.
Certain foods, like spinach, Swiss chard, beans, nuts, and avocados, are good food sources of magnesium. But I wouldn’t recommend relying on diet alone for ample magnesium, especially with your family history of colorectal cancer.
Food sources aren’t as rich in magnesium as they once were because our overworked soils have become dangerously nutrient deficient. This means that in order to get the recommended 400 mg per day, you need to consider dietary supplements.
I recommend taking either magnesium glycinate or magnesium threonate because they are more easily absorbed by the body than other magnesium supplements.
Want me to answer your question next? Email me at email@example.com
To a brighter day,
Dr. Richard Gerhauser, M.D.
Written By Dr. Richard Gerhauser, M.D.
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